‘62% of Delhi-NCR households prefer organic food’

Around 62 per cent of high-income households prefer organic food due to rising awareness, higher disposable income and easy availability in the markets of big cities, a study by Assocham says.

There has been a growth in the demand for organic products in metropolitan cities, especially fruits and vegetables, an increase of 95 per cent in the last five years.

The survey titled "Rising demand of organic products in metropolitan cities" is based on 1,500 lead retailers selling non-organic and organic products. In the survey, around 1,000 retailers cited that concerns for health and environment are the main reasons for customers purchasing organic products. Spending on organic products rose threefold in the last five years, Assocham study says.

The sale of organic food products was highest in Mumbai, where 65 per cent of those surveyed bought them, followed by Delhi-NCR (61%), Bangalore (58%), Ahmedabad (55%), Hyderabad (52%), Chandigarh (51%) and Indore (50%).

Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said, "Organic farming is one of the fastest growing industries in the last year, thanks to higher disposable incomes, rising health concerns have increased the demand for organic food."

Among the various types of food categories offering organic options, vegetables (68%), fruits (52%), pulses (51%), food grains (50%), milk (45%) and fruit juices (51%) are the most regularly purchased items by Indian consumers, Assocham said.

Most organic farmers in India are still in the transition phase and hence the products are expensive, the report said. Production costs are expected to reduce, making India one of the most important producers of organic food, Rawat said.

Organic fruits and vegetables are the most popular organic products. The average weekly expenditure on organic food is estimated at 50% of the weekly food budget, points out the survey.

With all the bad publicity and alarm generated by poor diet, junk food and rising levels of obesity, the boom in the organic sector is a welcome relief for the food industry, Rawat said.

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